Controversial Dr. Seuss mural replaced with new design

Decision made to remove original mural after complaints of racism

New mural

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A controversial mural at the Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield has been replaced with new artwork.

The new mural unveiled Tuesday morning celebrates various works of Springfield-native Theodor Seuss Geisel — from “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” to “Oh The Places You’ll Go.”

The original mural became the center of controversy when three children’s authors– Mike Curato, Lisa Yee and Mo Willems– said they would be declining an offer to go to the museum over it. It depicted a scene from Seuss’ first book, “And To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street,” in which a Chinese man wearing a traditional hat was eating noodles out of a bowl with sticks. The author’s called it a “jarring racial stereotype” that was “obviously offensive in 2017.”

Not everyone agreed. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno called it “political correctness at it’s worst,” and said he wanted it to remain on display.

In a statement sent to 22News on Tuesday, Sarno said while he still feels strongly about his original stance on the issue, it’s not worth “winning the battle only to lose the war.”

The mayor’s full statement is below:

Mayor Sarno issues statement on New Dr. Seuss Mural:

“After a number of meetings and interactions with our Museums Board of Trustees and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, a plausible agreement has been reached. Though, I still, as many others do, feel strongly about our original stance on the Cambridge Librarian and our Dr. Seuss Museum issues, Dr. Seuss Enterprises ‘holds all the cards’ and it’s not worth ‘winning the battle only to lose the war’. With that, I would never do anything to harm our wonderful museums complex. I believe people will be pleased with the new mural, which proudly continues to depict our beloved Dr. Seuss and our beloved Springfield – ‘it’s time to move on’.”

 

Continuing Coverage: Dr. Seuss Mural

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